Tenant Law in New York

Relationships between landlords and tenants in Chestnut Ridge, New York can get contentious. It's difficult to be a tenant or a landlord. If one or both parties are not aware of their legal rights and responsibilities, conflicts can arise.

Landlords and tenants have to navigate a web of legal rights and obligations. It's essential that the parties to a landlord/tenant relationship know what obligations they have to one another.

Landlord's Rights in Chestnut Ridge, NY

The most important and most evident right that a landlord has is the right to timely payment of rent from the tenant. This, of course, means that the tenant has a duty to pay rent.

Landlords also have a right to be free from damage to the rented unit. Tenants are expected not to damage their dwellings, intentionally or negligently. Landlords can deduct the cost of repairs from the tenant's security deposit. In general, tenants are not liable for damage resulting from ordinary wear and tear.

Tenant's Rights in Chestnut Ridge, NY

Much like landlords have a right to get paid for the service they provide, tenants have a right to get what they pay for: a suitable place to live. In Chestnut Ridge, New York, all residential rental agreements carry an "implied warranty of habitability." This means that a landlord implicitly guarantees that any residence he or she rents will be fit for human habitation. In general, an unit will be automatically deemed uninhabitable if it lacks running water, electricity, heat, and adequate protection from the elements. There are several more factors that can be considered, as well, but those are some of the basics.

In addition to habitable living spaces, tenants also have a right to reasonably safe common areas. Common areas include lobbies, hallways, and stairwells - basically anything that everyone living in an apartment complex has access to. These common areas must meet the building standards of Chestnut Ridge, New York, and must not contain any unnecessary safety hazards.

Under federal and New York law, tenants are also entitled to protection against discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, marital status, or gender. Such discrimination can lead to severe civil penalties against the landlord. Landlords also cannot discriminate against tenants based on physical disability, and have to make reasonable accommodations for physically disabled tenants. For example, they have to allow disabled tenants to make minor physical alterations to the unit (at the tenant's expense) to make it more accessible. Now, they don't need to allow the tenants to have the building remodeled. We're just talking about things like installing handrails in the bathroom, and similar things. The landlord can, however, require tenants to restore the apartment to its original condition, at the tenant's expense, once the tenant leaves.

Finally, tenants are legally protected from arbitrary eviction. Landlords generally must have a very good reason to evict a tenant before the lease agreement reaches the end of its term (at this point, they are of course allowed to decline to renew the lease). Of course, if the tenant breaches the lease agreement (such as by failing to pay rent, damaging the property, or violating other reasonable rules the landlord has put in the lease), the landlord, like a party to any other contract, is free to terminate the agreement and evict the breaching tenant.

Can a Chestnut Ridge, New York Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, chances are that you want to avoid conflict. But if you do end up in a seemingly irresolvable conflict with the other party, a Chestnut Ridge, New York attorney can help you protect your rights.